Converting from Baquacil to Chlorine Spring Opening

#1
Hi TFP,

My name is Chris and I purchased a home in the suburbs of Chicago in 2013 with a 20,000 gallon pool with a Hayward Perflex 75a DE filter. The owner used Baquacil. I have been spending a lot of money on the chemicals for a pretty brief pool season and I have white and pink mold issues during really hot periods. At other times the water is the most crystal clear you have ever seen probably due to the DE filter I have, but I am sick of the expense and intermittent mold issues. I have not added Bacquacil products since mid/early October 2016 and plan to make the switch during the opening about the middle of May. I have already read many forums, pool school, and the conversion page. I have purchased the TF-100 XL with the speed stir and it should arrive soon.

My first question is given my pool size of approx 20,000 gallons and the fact that I have not used Bacquacil for about 7 months,how much is a good estimate to purchase in advance of each 10% Liquid Chlorine # of gallons, Cyanuric Acid, and Muriatic Acid? If possible, I would like to be in ballpark of both converting the pool and having enough chemicals to get through 6 months of moderate pool use. I have heard I should expect to use a lot of chlorine. Also, are there any other chemicals I should have on hand?

I plan to take several days off around a weekend and dedicate a majority of my time to the opening and conversion, while documenting some of it here. Thanks in advance for the advice and let me know i I am missing anything.

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YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
9,087
Evans, Georgia
#2
Per PoolMath (an app you need to get comfortable using, its great!) to go from zero to 15ppm FC in your sized pool will take 444ounces of 8.25% bleach. So 4 jugs that first dose. Just buy fresh plain bleach, no scents, no thickened stuff, no outdoor types... just plain old fashioned bleach. And don't buy it from anyplace like hardware stores that store it outside cause sunlight and heat weakens bleach quickly. Buy from a store with good turn over. Walmart also sells 10% liquid chlorine in the pool section.

For CYA (after the conversion, NOT before!) PoolMath says it will take 80 ounces of stabilizer to go from zero to 30ppm. You can often find this in your big box hardwae store's pool section.

You might not need any muriatic acid, but having one gallon on hand is probably enough. Buy the full strength stuff in the paint department of your local big box hardware store.

Yippee :flower:
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
35,991
Tallahassee, FL
#3
I will to the list to make sure you have plenty of DE to recharge and replace as needed.

I am sad to say you may not get some of the *pretty* colors from you conversion though :( LOL since you have not added any thing since Oct.

Kim:kim:
 
#4
Thank you for the reply. I think I am going to go the 10% Liquid Chlorine route as it is cheap and highly concentrated. The Sams Club Clorox does not seem to be pure bleach. I am familiar with Pool Math, but I guess I am struggling with how many times I am going to have to add the "dose" of about 4 jugs to get the 15ppm FC. Some threads I have read said they have added 20 gallons about 4-5 days into the process and have still not passed the overnight test. Since I have not added Bacquacil products since last Oct. I anticipate being on the lower end of the spectrum, but I do not want to run out in the middle. I am thinking maybe 20-25 gallons of 10% chlorine or am I over estimating? In the end, even 25 gallons is much cheaper than what I have been spending.
 
#5
Hi Kim, I am definitely planning on loading up on the DE. I have some left over from last year and plan on buying another 50 lbs. I anticipate having to use a lot. My filter does a great job, almost too good, and is a pain to take apart (something like 18 bolts) and clean. I have also been thinking of switching to a sand filter, but I love the crystal clear water. That's probably a discussion for a different thread though.

I will to the list to make sure you have plenty of DE to recharge and replace as needed.

I am sad to say you may not get some of the *pretty* colors from you conversion though :( LOL since you have not added any thing since Oct.

Kim:kim:
 

Leebo

Admin
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 21, 2011
7,976
Eastern Ohio
#6
Does your filter have the option to bypass?? At the beginning stages of the conversion you maybe better off simply avoiding the filter IF you can as it will get clogged up rather frequently.
 
#7
My setup is like the one in the link below with the standard base and there is very little room for a bypass valve. The elbow connects directly from the filter to the pump. I have tried and actually purchased a bypass valve, but could not figure out how to make the configuration work by just using a valve with a lever. What I have ended up doing is attaching some tubing directly to the top of the pump and bypassing the filter that way, but it is a little bit of a pain disconnecting and attaching each time. I wish there was an easier way and I will never understand why Hayward doesn't have an easy bypass to waste valve as a feature especially since they make it so difficult to take apart and recharge with DE with all the bolts. There is a drain valve, but my understanding is that the water still passes through the fingers and this is not meant as a bypass, but to clear used DE.

If there is a Hayward Perflex expert out there that has found a good solution, please let me know.

https://media.thepoolfactory.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/17f82f742ffe127f42dca9de82fb58b1/h/a/hayward-ec75-filter-system-650x650-dm_1.jpg




Does your filter have the option to bypass?? At the beginning stages of the conversion you maybe better off simply avoiding the filter IF you can as it will get clogged up rather frequently.
 
#8
I completed my conversion over about 3 days, but the majority of the work was done in the first 12 hours. I had used CDX and other Baquacil products last in Sept/Oct of last year. My learnings:

1. Plan to have 1-2 days completely devoted to the pool. The first day is critical and consists of about 90% of the work so start early in the morning. I was working on it till 1 or 2 in the morning the first night.
2. Be prepared with a testing kit, a lot of chlorine (I used about 26 gallons 10% for a 20k gal pool), CYA, and a lot of DE if you have a DE filter (used about 28 pounds of DE). BUY MORE CHLORINE THAN YOU THINK YOU WILL NEED AND THEN BUY SOME MORE.
3. You can almost forget about the 15 ppm FC target in the beginning as you cannot add too much chlorine. Almost everything you add in the beginning will be consumed by the Baquacil. I wasted time by adding 2-3 gallons per the calculator and then waiting an hour then testing again. If I was doing it again I would add every 10-15 min until the chlorine no longer causes a color change.
4. Have a very fine skimmer net handy to scoop the yellow foam from the surface and have a tarp or large plastic bag handy to empty the net. It has to be fine because the yellow foam is very fine. I had thought it would be like sludge, but it was not in my case. i do not have a picture, but the surface was coated in bright yellow foam like material. This saved me from having to change the DE in my filter as often.
5. Get a helper. It would have been a lot easier if I had someone to take a shift bumping/cleaning/and changing the DE in my filter.

IMG_4126.jpg IMG_4127.JPG
 

bethdorothy

Well-known member
May 23, 2016
47
Carthage, Il
#9
I'm converting mine this weekend. So your suggestion is to add a gallon every 10-15 minutes?? We've got a 19500 gallon pool, I did not use CDX, and did NOT add closing chemicals last fall. (I was disgusted with the water mold when we closed and decided I was done with baquacil) I'm buying bleach this week. Where did you get yours and what strength was it?? Thanks in advance!

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ps....we have a sand filter, not sure what a DE filter is, but how often did you back wash???
 

Donldson

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
Jun 12, 2009
3,288
NW Ohio
#10
Do not blindly dump chlorine in to a pool, especially one that has zero CYA in it such as in the case of a Baqua conversion. If you want to test and dose every 15 minutes that is up to you but you will burn through your reagents quickly. With nothing in the water to stabilize the chlorine you can very easily end up with too much and damage or fade the liner.
 

Donldson

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
Jun 12, 2009
3,288
NW Ohio
#12
Well, I wouldn't add CYA before beginning your conversion unless you want it to last all summer ;) I totally understand you are new to all this, that is why I am making sure you nor anybody else risk their pool due to either bad advice or accidentally misinterpreting good advice.

There are instructions: Pool School - Convert Your Baqua Pool to Chlorine Adding CYA is not until step 7. I would suggest you start a thread of your own to document your conversion and give you a good place to ask questions personalized to your own conversion. There are a lot of people on the site who have done the conversion themselves and helped many others through the process, they will be extremely happy to help you through every step of the way and help you get your newly chlorine pool clear and clean.
 

bethdorothy

Well-known member
May 23, 2016
47
Carthage, Il
#13
Step 1 is test pH. How will I adjust up or down if it's off. I've ordered all the testing supplies and have 16 gallons of bleach on hand. Trying to the up loose ends before I begin on Friday. Thank you btw!!
 
#14
True, I may have been overstating a little here, but I didn't get much of a chlorine reading at all until I had already put in many gallons of bleach. It is probably better to wait in between to not fade the liner. It was a little frustrating because I did not get the real baqua foam forming on the surface, which meant it was working, until many hours into the process and probably about 10-12 gallons of bleach. I think maybe dosing and testing every 20-30 mins for the first couple of hours would have made things go a little quicker. I also had the TF-1000 XL so I have more reagents for the chlorine test than I know what to do with. In fact I kind of found the XL not needed in my case. I had heard about some conversions taking weeks, but if you really work on it for a couple of days consistently testing and dosing you can do it much quicker. I had the benefit of probably having low levels of Bacquacil to begin with which helped a lot.

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Step 1 is test pH. How will I adjust up or down if it's off. I've ordered all the testing supplies and have 16 gallons of bleach on hand. Trying to the up loose ends before I begin on Friday. Thank you btw!!
First buy a test kit like this one http://tftestkits.net/TF-100-Test-Kit-p4.html . You can increase your PH by using baking soda and decrease ph using Muriatic acid. Or if you are going to Borate your pool like I did you can use Borax and Muriatic acid in the right doses using the pool calculator, but since you are converting and new to it you are probably better off just sticking with the baking soda at first. In fact use the pool calculator when you add anything, it really is helpful. I read a lot of posts on these forums before I did anything.
 
#15
I'm converting mine this weekend. So your suggestion is to add a gallon every 10-15 minutes?? We've got a 19500 gallon pool, I did not use CDX, and did NOT add closing chemicals last fall. (I was disgusted with the water mold when we closed and decided I was done with baquacil) I'm buying bleach this week. Where did you get yours and what strength was it?? Thanks in advance!

- - - Updated - - -

ps....we have a sand filter, not sure what a DE filter is, but how often did you back wash???

Just saw your question. I would buy over 20 gallons because you can use it during the summer even if you do not use it during the conversion and running out during the process is the last thing you want. I bought 10% pool chlorine from Walmart, but as we all know bleach is the same and just a couple isles over. I bought the pool chlorine cause I wanted higher concentrations given I was buying so much, it was not that much more expensive, and they did not have very much bleach on the shelves at the time. I will probably switch to bleach in the future.

DE is a powder that is used for a different kind of filter. It is great a filtering out small particles, but is not so great for a conversion as it catches everything and you have to backwash and change the powder very frequently as it gets clogged up. However, if you want the most crystal clear water ever DE should be considered. I think it should be much easier with a sand filter. I have never had a sand filter, but I would be prepared to backwash frequently as there is a lot of crud that you need to get out. As the TFP expert recommended check out the thread on this site as I used their method. I was able to do the over night test of dropping from 15ppm of chlorine to only 13ppm on the third night and have had no problems since. I'm glad I did it and you will be too, but the conversion itself is not fun at all. Hang in there and don't get too stressed out. Take a couple of wine beer breaks....
 
#16
Update: It's been almost 6 months since I took the plunge and made the conversion to liquid Chlorine (Bleach) and I could not be happier. In previous years I would have brown mustard or white water mold about once or twice month even after I was an experienced user of Baquacil. The incident would quickly clog up my DE filter and cost me hours in brushing and cleaning out and changing the filter. I have only changed my filter once all summer. That was unheard of to me previously. I did not think it would be possible. The only negatives I have about chlorine is the fact that you really do need to get the fresh stuff so I have to buy chemicals several times during the summer. Second, it is worth storing it in a somewhat temperature controlled environment like an attached garage or even your cool basement to keep it potent. Do not store it in your hot shed all summer as the stuff will lose its effectiveness very quickly.Third, you have to add chlorine almost daily or every other day and it is still a little difficult to keep levels consistent. I recommend using liquid chlorine 95% of the time and keep some tabs handy for when you go on vacation or are not able to add chlorine for several days. Conclusion, bite the bullet and go for it. The conversion itself sucks, but in the end it will pay off in spades.
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
35,991
Tallahassee, FL
#17
This makes me SOOO happy! :party:

Now lets make your life even easier! Have you heard or thought about a SWG? Here is a link:

Pool School - Salt Water Chlorine Generators

It is said to get one rated for twice as big as your pool to help save in the long run as you will not have to run it as much and that saves on the cell life.

A SWG will make your chlorine for you! You will keep liquid chlorine in mind if you need to boost the FC but the every day adding will be a thing of the past!

If you don't like that idea you can also do a chlorine pump. Here is a link to one of many threads about it:

Thinking of adding a Liquidator or Stenner

Or you can be like me and just add every day.

Kim:kim: